Fishers of Men

Fishers of Men
Mark 1:16-20 Luke 5:1-11 Matthew 4:18-22

Last week we looked at ways in which we can bring ourselves closer to God, and hopefully we’re all (leaders included :P) sticking to our New Year chart. So this week we will look at bringing other people to God and how we might be a follower of Jesus.

(2-5 mins)
This week we are going to look at the calling of the first disciples who were fishermen. Jesus told them that he was going to teach them to do something very special. Last week we thought about ways in which we can bring ourselves closer to God, this week we are going to think about something Jesus said to bring others closer to God.


The reading this week is the famous ‘I will make you fishers of men’, while this story is recalled in three of the four gospels as shown at the top of this page we will be looking at the account in Luke 5:1-11 for the purposes of the following discussion.

(10-15 mins)

Although the reading is quite short we can learn a great deal about Jesus and his first disciples in it.

The disciples are fisherman, it is their profession. They go out fishing everyday to feed themselves, their families and make money. Yet after they have had a bad day a man calls out to them that he knows how they can do better. Ask the children to think about something that they are good at. They might be good at sports or singing or schoolwork. Ask them to imagine how they would feel at being told by someone they had never seen before that they could do something differently, or better. They will probably come up with answers like offended or annoyed. Explain that it is always hard to take criticism especially if we don’t know who is criticising us or if we’re doing something we know we’re good at. How might Simon Peter have felt being told how to do his job? Imagine how he might have felt when he saw just how many fish he caught, so many that the boat started to sink!

As for Jesus this is the first time that he is calling people to him and He shows them a miracle. He sees that they have had bad luck catching fish and so He gives them more fish than they can physically carry! It’s no wonder that Simon Peter falls down terrified when they get back to shore. But Jesus doesn’t rebuke him for his sins, instead he invites him and his brother to be followers of Him and offers to make them ‘fishers of men’. The brothers drop everything, right there and then, they leave what they are doing without question to follow Jesus. Would we do that? If you were in school and Jesus told you to leave would you do it? Probably, if you didn’t like school, but what if you were at home doing something you really enjoyed and didn’t want to stop doing, would you follow Him then?

What do we mean by fishers of men?Jesus wants us to bring people to God just like fishermen catch fish for their food. Obviously we can’t go out into the streets with a fishing rod and start hooking people and pulling them into church, but we can go out and talk to them about Jesus and maybe they’ll come to church to learn more. All of us can be disciples of Jesus in some way.

Paying it forward
(5-10 mins)
You will need:
A pen
A large piece of paper (A3)


More entertaining than a Hayley Joel Osmond film

This activity demonstrates how easily the children can be ‘fishers of men’. Gather the children around the paper. At the top of the page draw a stickman. This stickman represents the children. Underneath him draw two more stickmen, these are stickmen the children have told about Jesus. Underneath them draw two more, these are children that have told others about Jesus and so on and so on…
You’ll notice in the picture that not all of the stickmen tell others. That’s fine, sometimes people will hear about Jesus but not be interested, or they’ll have already turned away. The important thing to illustrate to the children is that they’ve heard about Him. Not everyone will hear the Good News and start coming to church, some might decide to find Jesus in their own way, others might ignore it for now and then come to God in many years time, others will just ignore it outright. The most important part of this exercise is just to see how many people can be reached just by one child telling two friends about Jesus.

Fishers of Men
You will need:
Coloured paper cut into fish shapes
A makeshift rod made from a stick and string
A small magnet

– Attach the magnet to the end of the string.
– On one side of the coloured fish shapes write numbers ranging from 1-5
– Put some staples on the end of the fish.
– Place the fish with the number side down on a surface. Have the children use the magnet to hook the fish.
– The child that gets the most points wins the game.


Sea Scene
(10-15 mins)
This craft is a good idea if you have space on your bulletin board or a cork board you aren’t using.
You will need:
Blue crepe paper
Coloured paper cut into fish shapes
Drawing pins
Foam letters or letters cut out of coloured paper.

– Cover the space of the board you are using with the blue crepe paper, pin it into position at the four corners.
-Write the names of the children in your class onto some of the fish shapes. Pin them up around the board. Be sure to pin some blank fish around the children. Names can always be added when new additions join your classes.
-Stick the letters around the board spelling out the words ‘We are Fishers of Men’ to remind them of today’s lesson.

To see more craft ideas see our All purpose craft pages here and here.





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